USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)

First Advisor

Leon Hardy, Ph.D., Professor, College of Arts and Sciences


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available

May 2013

Publication Date


Date Issued

May 2013


As the population increases exponentially so does the need for a greater demand of energy. Even though renewable energy sources are available, humans still receive almost 60% of energy from non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels. Solar energy has been seen as a very promising method of energy collection for electrical use for some time now. The common silica solar cell design has been altered in many ways over the years. The main goal is to improve the absorption and conversion of sunlight into usable energy. The majority of current photosynthetic solar cells make use of non-renewable components. These materials can have an adverse effect on an environment. It is therefore vital to develop a non-toxic and renewable photosynthetic solar cell that can efficiently produce electricity. This project will attempt to demonstrate how to efficiently and sustainably utilize the living chlorophyll found in plant cells for electrical generation in a photosynthetic solar cell application. This can be accomplished by chemically extracting dense amount of chloroplasts from plants. The organic photosynthetic solar cells are synthesized in layers of chlorophyll, a catalyst, agarose, and a final layer of super-conductive material known as graphene. Research of chemistry, physics, biology and environmental science is necessary to complete this project.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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